On Sunday, November 14th 2010, I went to see Jimmy Carr live at the Warwick Arts Centre, part of his ‘Laughter Therapy’ tour.
First off let me say I’m a massive Jimmy fan. He is right up there amongst my favourite British stand-ups, of which we have many brilliant comics at the moment in this country. So I went in with high expectations.
After a big-screen intro – with some classic jokes to start – out he strolls looking sharp as ever in a very nice suit. He just looks the same as he does week-after-week on the TV panel shows, dapper.
After a little hello he starts firing off the short jokes, no messing about, I’m not kidding when I say my mouth was hurting after 5 minutes simply from laughing too much, after only 5 minutes! No ‘ease them in gently’ here, I think ‘hit em hard’ is the way to describe it. I could tell he was going to live up to my expectations already.
After the initial burst of gags, came the regional accents. This part was great, the first audience interaction of the night. He said a word in an accent and then the sell-out audience had to say it back – simple but funny as hell!
Get your heckles out
He is the only comedian I have seen who has stood there and said “go on then, throw your best heckles at me”. He set out 5 minutes for 1200 people to shout what they want at him. I instantly knew it wasn’t going to be too outrageous what was thrown back at him – I go to the Warwick Arts Centre quite a bit, and you don’t exactly get rowdy crowds! But nonetheless he got a few and as expected responded in a flash. I loved the anticipation it created and the comedy gold moments only live stand-up can provide.
Throughout the show there was lots of audience interaction. As well as the regional accents and heckle invitation he also got 2 people on stage to tell jokes with him for a while, and in another part invited an audience member to do an interview with him. Great to see the crowd so involved.
Level of offensiveness?
As you expect a lot of the material was very un-PC, offensive, whatever you want to call it. You know the stuff that Jimmy talks about – Paedos, disabilities, rape (sorry, I should say Cuddle Struggle), Africans and plenty more. All the sort of stuff that would leave your granny in horror.
For his encore he did more gags, started from a reasonably low level of shock, moving the bar upwards. This was a brilliant finish to the show with everyone awash with laughter and claps. At the height of laughter I turned to the side and could just see people with different reactions, some with their hands in their head, others rocking in laughter. Epic reaction.
After 10 years doing it he truly is a master at what he does. The same old Jimmy Carr just gets better; he dresses smart, looks posh and has a mouth like a festival toilet. His delivery of jokes and his whole routine is perfectly smooth, and his material remains as shocking as ever.
He is on tour for quite a while into 2011 and if you like his nature of comedy I highly recommend you go and see him.